Tips on studio shoots

Following on from our last post on pre-shoot communication with photographers, we will now cover the actual shoot itself. One thing that I often see is lack of preparation. Some models come with not enough outfits, no make up and their hair in a mess. Its then down to the photographer to heavily edit the images, which can take several hours. In the end neither of you are happy with the shots.

There are some shoots that the model will turn up at and my initial thought is “you are kidding me!”. You wouldn’t go for a job interview in your pyjamas so don’t turn up at a shoot unprepared.

During the pre-shoot communication, outfits. make up and hair should be discussed. You are not going to be lucky enough to have a hair and make up artist on each shoot you do so there is going to have to be some work from you on these areas. We will discuss post shoot editing and airbrushing by the photographer later on a future post. Ensure that you bring more outfits than you need and don’t forget matching shoes!

If you are shooting lingerie and supplying your own, bring a matching set!

So, you turn up prepared with your outfits and hair and make up in a decent state. The next step is for both to look at the outfits and ensure that you are both happy and discuss a plan. This can be done pre-shoot, but you can overload yourself with lots of thoughts, which in turn may kill the creativity of the shoot.

Once you have a plan then the shoot can begin.

Posing guide:

Make sure that you practice on posing naturally. There is nothing worse for either of you to struggle with posing and the shoot becomes very mechanical. I shot a model recently who was discussing last night’s TV whilst hitting different poses while I was firing at a shot per second. Ideal, but that does come with experience. 

Don’t pre-plan posing in the pre-shoot communication. This is a waste of time; you are better off posing naturally and creating ideas between you and the photographer during the shoot. Most of the time the spur of the moment posing looks better.

Before I work with a model I spend quite a bit of time looking through their existing shots. Most models fall into bad habits, generally one comfort pose like a pout, or always angling the face in certain direction. You can’t help this and you won’t really notice yourself, but a good photographer can help with breaking you out of any habits that you are getting into.

In future posts we will discuss areas such as:

  1. Making the most of your good and bad features.
  2. Understanding photography lighting and using it to your advantage, even with photographers who don’t understand it themselves!
  3. Outdoor and location shoots.
  4. High key and low key photography

How long should you take in the studio?

You need an hour per outfit change really. You may want to use a couple of different sets with the same outfit or different props. For a quality shoot you will need 3 hours minimum and possibly 4 hours. Of course, there will be photographers that read this and think its rubbish! I am talking about great quality shots that you would be proud of in your portfolio, not just snaps.

Jessica Hope Hill - Model and MODA Hair Stylist

Lot’s more advice on the way and MODA hair stylist, Jessica Hope Hill, will be offering hair tips over the next couple of weeks. We are hoping to officially welcome a make up artist too to MODA and of course she will be blogging too offering advice in this area.

If you have enjoyed the first 2 posts, please tell your model friends and anyone interested in starting. Remember to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and the main website to view our work is here. We are about to shoot some more hair and make up projects and updates will come through via Facebook and Twitter so make sure you are following! ;-)

Feel free to add a comment on the link at the beginning of the post, or any other tips that you may have regarding this subject.

Thanks for reading

Dean – MODA photographer

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Comments (3)

  1. 6:26 am, April 11, 2011Stonefly  / Reply

    It is a great pleasure for me to visit your site and to enjoy your marvelous posts here. I like that so much. I think that you paid much attention for those articles, as all of them make sense and are very useful. Thanks so much for sharing. I can be very good reader & listener. Appreciate your work!

    • 3:28 pm, June 13, 2011Kylia  / Reply

      That’s really shrewd! Good to see the logic set out so well.

  2. 3:06 am, June 13, 2011Rose  / Reply

    Kudos to you! I hadn’t thuoght of that!

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